Blackhawks once again dominate Jets in 4-1 win
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter November 6, 2013 9:33PM
Updated: November 6, 2013 11:27PM
The night began with a classy gesture for former Blackhawks winger Michael Frolik — a video tribute and a standing ovation. The night ended with a classless fan — able to afford 100-level seats and maybe a few of those $10 beers the United Center offers — ripping the helmet off Winnipeg defenseman Adam Pardy’s head and wearing it, while another fan poured a beer on Pardy’s head after Hawks winger Brandon Bollig drove him through the glass.
In between? It was a world-class performance from the Hawks’ top trio.
Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa were utterly dominant Wednesday night in the Hawks’ 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets — their second trouncing of their new division rivals in five days.
Sharp had a goal and an assist, Toews had a goal and won 15 of 17 faceoffs, and Marian Hossa was all over the ice as the Hawks’ top line combined for 13 of the team’s 28 shots on goal. Meanwhile, defenseman Duncan Keith, playing mostly with that trio, chipped in two more assists — it easily could have been three — and was a plus-3.
“I think anybody that can play with Sharp, Toews and Hossa is going to get some opportunities to play in the other team’s end,” said Keith, who’s now in the top 10 in the league with 12 assists. “Seems like they have the puck the whole shift every time they’re out there. They’re three great players and it’d be tough to play against them.”
The Hawks went eight straight games without scoring more than three goals in early October, which prompted Joel Quenneville to put the new top line together. Since that move, the Hawks have scored at least four goals five times in seven games, with the top trio leading the charge.
“We want to be that type of line that sustains pressure and keeps the puck alive and keeps plays alive every single shift,” Toews said. “You saw the chances we got. Keep doing that, and the more chances you get, the more goals you’re going to score.”
Toews got his eighth goal of the season late in the first period, backhanding a shot underneath Chicago native Al Montoya (24 saves). That tied him for the team lead with Patrick Kane, who didn’t let that stand for long, scoring on a wrist shot with 5.8 seconds left in the period.
Kane — who’s also been highly productive on his new line with Brandon Saad and Brandon Pirri — had the highlight of the night, dangling his way through nearly the entire Jets team before drawing a tripping penalty midway through the second period.
“That was just good old-fashioned Kaner right there,” Toews said. “That was fun to watch. … Not too many guys can do that. He was almost horsing around, just having fun and playing pond hockey. No one could take the puck from him. Pretty amazing skill.”
Pirri made it 3-0 late in the second when Ben Smith — at the end of a long shift — made a nice hustle play to force a neutral-zone turnover and spring Pirri on a breakaway. Sharp made it 4-0 early in the third on another nice play by Keith, and Devin Setoguchi spoiled the shutout bid of Corey Crawford (24 saves) at 8:40 of the third.
Pardy’s misadventures through the looking glass — precipitated by a booming Bollig hit that drove a pane of glass on to some unsuspecting fans, while unleashing a couple of dolts in the crowd — was a fitting comic finish to another Hawks laugher over the Jets.
One that started at the top.
“It’s three players that want to hold on to the puck and make plays,” Sharp said. “I don’t think you’ve really seen anybody trying to beat people 1-on-1 — it’s moving the puck back and forth. And all three guys like to score goals, so that’s a good thing.”